The Aspiring Attorney with ADHD: Bar Accommodations or a Bar to Practice

62 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2013 Last revised: 20 Aug 2013

See all articles by Neha Sampat

Neha Sampat

Golden Gate University - School of Law

Esme Grant

United States International Council on Disabilities

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

This Article is the first in the academic literature to examine how a strict application of the childhood history requirement reduces the likelihood that applicants will receive ADHD accommodations on the bar exam based on race, sex, socioeconomic status, location, and age. Part One provides an introduction to ADHD, explaining the diagnostic framework and its limitations, specifically with regard to childhood diagnosis and adult ADHD. Part Two describes the legal and policy framework applicable to bar examiner agencies, focusing on the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). The Article sets forth, in Part Three, state bar policies and practices regarding ADHD accommodations. Within that context, Part Four demonstrates how the childhood history requirement exposes state bars to liability under the ADA. Part Five reveals how the childhood history requirement negatively impacts protected classes and, thus, the diversity of the legal profession. Finally, the analysis concludes in Part Six with specific, groundbreaking recommendations to address and mitigate the injustice that bar applicants from underrepresented populations in the profession face.

Keywords: legal profession, disability law, legal education, psychology and law, access to justice, discrimination, disability accommodations, law student, ADHD, Americans with Disabilities Act, bar exam, state bar

Suggested Citation

Sampat, Neha and Grant, Esme, The Aspiring Attorney with ADHD: Bar Accommodations or a Bar to Practice (2012). 9 Hastings Race and Pov. L.J. 291 (2012), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2305429

Neha Sampat (Contact Author)

Golden Gate University - School of Law ( email )

536 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Esme Grant

United States International Council on Disabilities ( email )

1012 14th St. NW, Suite 105
Washington, DC
United States

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